Premier League: Trouble at Manchester United: Ronaldo removed from the squad

Cristiano Ronaldo won't play for Manchester United in the next Premier League game.

Premier League: Trouble at Manchester United: Ronaldo removed from the squad

Cristiano Ronaldo won't play for Manchester United in the next Premier League game. After leaving the bench early against Tottenham, the club reacted and dropped the superstar from the squad for Saturday's game against Chelsea. The association does not provide information on the reasons. "The rest of the team is fully focused on preparing for this game," it said.

The 37-year-old was obviously upset the night before because coach Erik ten Hag hadn't even substituted him in the Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur (2-0). Just before the final whistle, he trudged into the Old Trafford dressing room, past the fans, looking down - and without consulting ten Hag. A scandal. And a topic that repeatedly causes unrest in the English record champions.

Ronaldo's escape caused criticism

He tries "to be a role model," the player wrote on his Instagram account in the evening: "Unfortunately, that's not always possible, and sometimes we are caught off guard in the heat of the moment." There was no direct excuse for his behavior.

He feels he has to "work hard, support my teammates and be ready for anything in every game". Ronaldo continued: "Giving in to pressure is not an option. It never was. This is Manchester United and we must be united. Soon we will be together again."

Numerous ex-professionals such as former England internationals Michael Owen and Gary Lineker had criticized Ronaldo. "It's not very professional," said Owen, who nevertheless showed understanding: He could understand Ronaldo's frustration, "it must be difficult for him". Lineker chose more drastic words: "I'm sorry, but that's unacceptable, that's so pathetic," said the TV expert about Ronaldo's escape.

Head coach ten Hag avoided the explosive topic after the game. "I'll deal with that tomorrow, not today. Now we're celebrating this win," said the 52-year-old on Wednesday evening. "I saw him, but I didn't speak to him."

Just one mission for a full ninety minutes

The big question is whether speaking out helps. The coach and his player seem to have too different ideas about Ronaldo's role. The five-time Champions League winner was determined to leave the club in the summer. Because ten Hag relies on team players who should also run a lot in the game against the ball. Ronaldo, meanwhile, likes to take breaks to shine in attacks. But he is no longer the goal machine he once embodied at Juventus Turin (134 competitive games/101 goals) or Real Madrid (438/450). And ten Hag is not ready to submit his system to an aging (ex) exceptional player.

Ronaldo's record under ten Hag reads frighteningly. Only once this season has he been allowed to play the full 90 minutes - in the embarrassing 4-0 defeat at Brentford on Matchday 2. After twelve matchdays he has only scored once and has not prepared a goal yet.

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